Saratoga Mocktail Panel: The Night Owl, Morrissey’s, Walt & Whitman, Cantina And Harvey’s

If you took part in last month’s Dry January—I basically did (my colleagues lovingly refer to me as “One Wine Will”)—you likely had to meet in-the-process-of-getting-sloshed friends out at local bars and sheepishly ask the bartender if he or she could make you a “mocktail” (i.e. an expertly crafted drink sans the alcoholic zing). Maybe the mixologist behind the bar even corrected you: “No, man, mocktails are soo 2019. You’re looking for our zero-proof cocktail menu.” (Whatever you say, bro.) After publishing a fat stack of saratoga living issues searching for “The Next Great Saratoga Cocktail” and crowning a champion, we decided to reach out to some of our favorite local mixologists and ask them about their favorite mock…I mean, zero-proof cocktails.

Maddie Pascale

Mixologist At The Night Owl
What’s the best mocktail you serve at The Night Owl?
We love our tonics here at The Night Owl, so when I’m asked for a nonalcoholic pick-me-up on the fly, I always turn to the classic Night Owl tonic with our Death Wish Coffee cold brew. A little expressed grapefruit peel over the top for brightness, and there you go!

What’s the best mocktail you’ve ever ordered?
The best nonalcoholic cocktails I’ve had use Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits. They’re amazing spirits made in England, and every bar that I’ve been to that uses them does so in a totally unique way. They’re a really fun product. We’re bringing them in at The Night Owl and plan to have a very cool cocktail using Seedlip Spirits on our next menu.

Timothy Everhardt

Bar Manager At Morrissey’s At The Adelphi

What’s the best mocktail you serve at Morrissey’s At The Adelphi?
That would be the French 37.
Here’s how to make it:

1 oz. Seedlip Grove 42
0.5 oz. Lemon juice
0.5 oz. Simple syrup
0.25 oz. Orange juice
Bar spoon “champagne acid solution” (3 grams tartaric acid, 3 grams lactic acid and 96 grams water)
Top with Club Soda and serve in a flute with a lemon twist.

What’s the best mocktail you’ve ever ordered?
The best non-alcoholic serve I’ve ever had was a mock Mai Tai riff at Speakeasy 518 in Albany. Prior to the addition of our nonalcoholic/low-ABV menu section at Morrissey’s, the “(Trader Vic) Mai Tai” was the cocktail that served as the backbone of most of my bartenders’ mocktails.

Ryan Wood

Bar Manager At Walt & Whitman Brewing Company

What’s the best mocktail you serve at Walt & Whitman Brewing?
That would be the “Jenny From The Block”—named after the famous pear-shaped diva, Jennifer Lopez. It’s made with our homemade spiced pear shrub, fresh lemon juice and club soda, served with a caramelized pear slice. It’s super refreshing!

What’s the best mocktail you’ve ever ordered?
A place I worked at in New Zealand made this amazing mocktail with fresh raspberries, mint, raspberry “cordial” and sparkling water.

(Dori Fitzpatrick)

Nick Aquino

Mixologist At Cantina
What’s the best mocktail you serve at Cantina?
At the moment, our no-proof options at Cantina consist of nonalcoholic margaritas or mojitos, which are made simply by omitting the booze. (This may be changing with our new cocktail menu.) I did try making a “Tea and Tonic,” recently, which consisted of apple/chamomile and chai teas, brown sugar simple syrup and tonic water. It was pretty tasty.

What’s the best mocktail you’ve ever ordered?
I believe it was a celery soda, made with house-made celery syrup, at Hamlet & Ghost—though I’m not sure what else was in it. But it was damned delicious!

(Dori Fitzpatrick)

Matthew Brian Bagley

Owner/Operator And Mixologist At Harvey’s Restaurant & Bar

What’s the best mocktail you serve at Harvey’s?
Virgin Mojitos (or Faux-jitos). We always have an assortment of berries and herbs during patio season, so we have a lot of diversity in playing around with them.

What’s the best mocktail you’ve ever ordered?
The best mocktail I’ve ever had was at Onieal’s Grand Street when I worked in Manhattan. I was doing a cleanse (imperative to survival in this industry), and my boss whipped something up for me, a peach Arnold Palmer with spanked mint, topped with sparkling water.

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